Restrictions on HMOs in Rugby set to tighten - The Rugby Observer

Restrictions on HMOs in Rugby set to tighten

Rugby Editorial 29th Mar, 2024   0

RESTRICTIONS over Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Rugby are set to tighten following years of campaigning.

Rugby Borough Council’s (RBC) Cabinet has agreed to a new regulation requiring planning permission for all conversions of houses into small HMOs.

The proposal – known as an Article 4 Direction – would apply to the Benn, Newbold and Brownsover, Coton and Boughton, Eastlands and New Bilton wards.

The move has been championed for several years by Labour councillors, who have raised concerns about the concentration of HMOs in some areas.

Opponents of HMOs have claimed that they increase littering, anti-social behaviour and crime, put pressure on parking, and contribute to a lack of affordable housing.

Coun John Slinger, the party’s parliamentary candidate for Rugby, said he was glad the council was taking action.

He said: “Residents, especially in town centre wards, have long complained about the negative consequences when too many family homes are turned into HMOs in a single street or area.”

In 2022, Coun Slinger organised a petition, signed by nearly 500 people, urging RBC to limit the number of HMOs – following up on previous campaigning by Couns Maggie O’Rourke and Ish Mistry.

He added: “If properly developed and managed, HMOs can fulfil a housing need.

“But when the density of HMOs in one area gets too high, our community is expected to suffer the consequences of a failing housing market and failure to build sufficient affordable and social housing.”

The RBC Labour Group’s housing spokesperson Coun Richard Harrington, who represents Benn Ward, said it was ‘fantastic’ news.

He added: “There was so much collaboration with so many people to get this processed, with several councillors and hundreds of residents pushing the council to reform HMOs.

“Since I have been a councillor, many residents have asked me to overturn planning applications for larger HMOs, but we’ve been powerless to act on smaller HMOs.

“More and more facts came out about the numbers of HMOs in Benn, and some of the antisocial impacts of the high concentration of HMOs.”

The Article 4 Direction, if confirmed by RBC, is due to be introduced next February.


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